Swiss tourist trampled to death by elephant

A Swiss woman has died after being trampled by fighting elephants in Thailand, local police reported on Thursday.

This content was published on February 24, 2011 and agencies

The 63-year-old was thrown to the ground and her mount repeatedly stamped on her.

There are conflicting reports of exactly what happened in the incident on Tuesday in a national park near the southern resort of Phuket.

The police officer in charge of the case said it involved five tourists riding two elephants.

However, the Phuket Wan tourism news website said a total of six tourists had been riding three elephants, when two of the animals became aggressive towards each other, probably fighting over a female.

The website reported that another Swiss woman was still in intensive care in hospital in Phuket on Thursday with 12 broken ribs and a punctured lung. The elephant she had been riding had crashed her into a tree.

Doctors say she will have to stay in hospital for at least two weeks before being able to fly home.

A Swiss man suffered abrasions and a cut to the head, the website said, adding that an Australian woman broke a rib and bruised her chest when she fell. Her husband and a British male tourist were unhurt.

The Swiss foreign ministry confirmed the woman’s “tragic death” to the Swiss news agency. It said the embassy in Bangkok was in contact with the local authorities. No further details would be given in order to protect the victim’s privacy.

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